Session 5 Virtual participant breakout

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  • Regardless of what they are, it is important to explain them clearly //soon// so that potential students can see a clear path to a degree at the end of their OERu studies.
  • I think that between the Penn State model (I am not sure what it is exactly, but I am sure that the SUNY model I shared below is similar. I agree with Jenni though that all courses should be as inclusive as possible.


  • keeping in mind information this morning from Canada, graduates with degrees often still have persistent low level literacy, and particularly numeracy skills, what might first year study do to improve this? Might there be a pre-first year bridging bootcamp to hit the basics hard?
    • I think you are probably right...perhaps we could arrange to find an OER method of doing initial assessments and then offering remedial courses to those who seem to need them. Our college uses some screening tools but I am reasonably sure they are not OER
  • I believe there are several colleges in the US building "college ready" courses using OER, making them available openly (as MOOCs and in other ways), worth scanning.Yes, it would be.
  • The whole State University of New York has general education requirements...Math and English are required then five from each of the following: humanities, arts, foreign language, social science, natural science, Western Civilization, other world civilizations, I think this plus the developmental courses you refer to would be a good place to start...ironically some of the OERu courses we already have like the one on the Pacific would count in the US as "other world". Others SUNY requires are American History which I do not see OERu offering but we might want to...what do you all think.
  • my expertise in curriculum does not stray too far from north america, but I'm willing to explore much, much further. A course in basics of English and Math looks somewhat different from a global perspective, very much want to find ways of globalizing my own work assuring inclusiveness, must be an issue even in basic english, math and science (science is a whole can of worms with religious differences).Don't really agree. OERu already has a math course well in hand that was done by one of my colleagues, it is very inclusive. Basic English writing will probably be just that since the OERu language will be standard written English. One area I would like help in globalizing is my own course I am developing Urban is a history course but is very Western/US least in the middle sections.
  • Are there any other subjects that should be included in a general degree (Wayne suggested a course in commerce...perhaps Macro-economics would be appropriate (I am not an economics major so I don't know). The sustainability course could be designed to meet a science requirement...ecology or ecological systems.. There probably should also be a psychology course, perhaps a course in sociology or anthropology, and one in human development all with an emphasis on diviersity.
  • As a musician, I would love to see at least one general course in music, art history, global cultural communication for example Could be combined with digital literacy in the way that ds106 asks students to build something creative and post often
    • Digital story telling would be an excellent course that could meet communications or art requirements. You have the idea. Perhaps we could use something like the broad SUNY categories or some version thereof...and then make suggestions for specific topics. At least initially we should probably shoot for at least two courses in each broad category: writing, arts, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, world history
      • Yes that seems to be the best model, love digital storytelling as an art, combines many skills sets
  • I think the best idea would be to select the broad categories and then ask the partners for specific nominations.
  • Another huge area of interest, and seems a clear and important skill going forward is basic coding and design, huge amount of OER emerging, math, creativity, accessibility, global citizenship combining, focus on education for girls and women in this field
  • Yes, and I am interested in community organizing/community development on a global scale, but I think that might be a path for the third and fourth years. I think the Urban Studies course I am working on would fit best at that level.
  • By the way, we could offer a course in World Religions as a humanity...and as far as science and religion goes we could use a disclaimer stating that the courses reflect current scientific thinking and are not meant to address questions of faith.
  • What do you all think of my idea of six or seven general categories, filling in the specific courses through finding OER texts to use and then issuing a call to the partners for specific developments?
    • Good idea, I was reminded reading a blog post this morning (Bonnie Stewart quoting Audrey Watters) that it's important to avoid "old hierachies hard-coded onto new ones." I'm a huge fan of the work of open textbooks, however, from a pedagogic perspective, what does a 21st century OERu degree look like in terms of learning outcomes, must the model of textbook-based course persist? In what ways can they be used differently?
    • Most certainly open textbooks contain the rigorous quality of content development, I'm curious about the ways in which that might just be a starting point for other explorations.. It sounds as if you and I have much in common. I have been doing just such things for eleven years now.
      • I don't think that textbooks are necessary. I don't use textbooks in many of the online courses I have designed for I don't think textbooks are absolutely needed but they might help in quickly getting courses out to market so to speak.
  • Has the session begun yet?
  • Don't see it back live.Maybe we could talk some more...where are you located Jenni?
  • I'm in Toronto, Ontario, sent a LinkedIn Invite :-)
  • I'll keep an eye out for it. Are you at the University of Toronto?No, an independent educator, instructional design contractor at the moment, searching out an opportunity to work specifically on OER projects, interesting search.Hmm. I 'll keep you in mind. I need to excuse myself from the session. I have to teach my Community Organizing students tonight...will be back later if you are still on. Nice meeting you...and nice speaking with you Jim as well. Joyce McKnight Same Joyce, will be popping in and out, amazing work happening here.


  • Using the idea that options should be "proudly borrowed" why reinvent the wheel? There are several great quality assurance guidelines for course development, OLC pillars, Penn State World Campus, Quality Matters (might they become a partner?). One example, UC Chico Rubric, can find more [[1]]
    • We need to keep such sites in mind.